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Today in Russian Business – Feb 26, 2010

The Defense Ministry could help AvtoVAZ increase its sales by compensating military officers for their down payment on a Lada 4×4, which could set them back by 1.3 billion rubles if the plan goes ahead and sales figures are met.  VTB managed to sell $1.25 billion worth of its five-year loan participation notes at face value, an indication of improved economic conditions.  Alfa Bank is reportedly planning to sell US dollar bonds.  Mobile TeleSystems is continuing to charge customers for paid services without their consent or even their knowledge, despite legal injunctions, says RIA Novosti.  Retail sales rose last month for the first time in a year.  Russian Vladimir Antonov, the former chairman of Spyker, was forced to leave the company as a condition of its buying Saab from General Motors, apparently due to concerns about ‘alleged ties between Mr Antonov and organised crime‘.